Celje with impressive win over GOG; Ystad take away win
RK Celje Pivovarna Laško came bursting out the gates against GOG and gave us one of the most entertaining games of the day when they defeated GOG of Denmark.
While Ystads hung tough to take a narrow one-goal lead back to Sweden with them. Another highlight was the tense Aguas Santas Milaneza vs BM Logroño La Rioja tie that saw both sides being totally inseparable after 60 minutes.
Read all about today's nine EHF European League qualification games in our breakdown below.
EHF EUROPEAN LEAGUE MEN – QUALIFICATION ROUND 1
Maccabi Rishon Lezion vs HC CSKA 26:29 (15:15)
- The Israeli champions Maccabi Rishon Lezion put it up to their Russian counterparts in a tight opening 30 minutes with powered by five goals from new signing Kankaras Branko (7/10 in total)
- By the 45th minute, the teams remained deadlocked after a brief lead by Maccabi Rishon Lezion (22:21) but seven missed chances in a row saw them sink 25:22 behind.
- CSKA’s Ivanov and Vorobev netted two apiece in the last 10 to seal the three-goal win for the Russian side.
- 29-year-old Belarusian international Aleh Astrashapkin (CSKA) was the top scorer of the day with 6/10. And had an important hattrick at key moments in the second half.
Bjerringbro Silkeborg vs Ystads IF 22:23 (13:10)
- A tense opening few minutes saw Bjerringbro take a 2:0 lead after a double from Jacob Lassen (3 in total) but 39-year-old Swedish legend Kim Andersson (3/6) handed the lead to the Ystads with his first goal of the game at 3:2.
- However, from there it was some Danish-side dominance as they put up a four-goal lead by the 26th minute thanks to poor shooting from Ystads
- Four missed chances by the Danish side and Kim Andersson’s goal at the 48th minute saw Ystads pull level (18:18)
- Ystad’s Jonathan Svensson netted two to give them the lead (21:18, 53’) as nerves boiled over the last few minutes. We saw chaos unfold with Andersson picking up a 2 minute (58’) and Nikolaj Nielsen missing a last-second chance to pull it all level for the Danish side
Csurgói KK vs HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta 23:27 (10:13)
- Vitaly Komogorov was on fire for Constanta in the opening minutes with 4 of their six goals (6:3 ‘10)
- Despite Croatian Matko Rotim pulling it twice level at 8:8 and 9:9 for Csurgói, the Romanian side saw their three-goal lead restored by Susanu before the buzzer.
- George Andrei Alexandru (7/8 total) was ice cold from the seven-meter spot and was only delighted to net three further penalties to his tally in the second half.
- Komogorov, top scorer of the game (8/9), also had the pleasure of sinking the final goal of the game giving the visitors a four-goal lead heading into the home second leg.
KS Azoty Pulawy SA vs MRK Sesvete 29:21 (13:8)
- By the 16th minute when Nikola Finek gave MRK Sesvete the 8:7 lead it looked like we had a real game on our hands.
- However, that was as good as it got for the Croatian side as a superior defence of the Polish outfit started to bully the visitors.
- Two quick goals from Akimenko (top scorer 8/9 in total) and Jarosiewicz netting before the buzzer things were suddenly looking ominous for Sesvete (13:8) at the break.
- Three goals from Pawel Podsiadlo (3/7) between the 32nd and 36th minute saw the Polish side lead 18:10, a lead which they firmly maintained until the final whistle.
RK Celje Pivovarna Laško vs GOG 33:29 (16:12)
- In one of the most anticipated matches of the day sees Celje dish out a shock.
- The win was based on Celje’s amazing finish to the first half where they opened up a four-goal lead thanks to Suholeznik (2/2) and Mazej (2/2) who scored all their goals for the game in the space of four minutes.
- MVP of the Olympic games Mathias Gidsel was still flying high but his almost perfect game with 10 goals from 11 chances still wasn't enough for GOG
- Gal Marguc’s four penalties in the second half were key at keeping GOG adrift.
HC Kriens Luzern vs SL Benfica 24:31 (13:17)
- After last season’s disappointment when SL Benfica were shockingly knocked out in round 1 qualification for the European League the Portuguese had a point to prove today
- When Serbian international Petar Djordjic netted from the seven-meter spot in the 11th minute, the visitors had already opened up a three-goal lead.
- The 17:13 lead at HT for Benfica was more deserved with the Portuguese side looking dominant in every area of the court.
- The seven-goal lead going into the second leg will be a high hurdle to cross for the Swiss side.
Rhein-Neckar Löwen vs Spor Toto SK 38:22 (18:9)
- It was a real party for Rhein-Neckar Löwen as they picked up their first win of the international season over their Turkish visitors.
- In front of 500 fans in the Stadthalle Östringen the Lions never looked in doubt with Mamadou Diocou (6/8) picking up the top scorer title in his first competitive game for the two-time German champions.
- A quick turnaround for both teams with the second leg of the tie will take place tomorrow at 15:00 CEST in Stadthalle Östringen.
Aguas Santas Milaneza vs BM Logroño La Rioja 26:26 (12:14)
- Our Iberian Peninsula derby recorded our only draw of the day.
- A huge highlight was 18-year-old Joao Gomes who netted 9/9 for Milaneza.
- New signing from Plock Leonardo Ferreira had a bright start in his first international for La Rioja netting six.
- Both sides went toe-to-toe for the last 10 minutes of the tie trading goals one for one, and set us up for a perfect return tie next Wednesday at 19:00 CEST.
ALPLA HC Hard vs Fenix Toulouse Handball 23:27 (10:13)
- Ivan Horvat putting Hard 8:5 up after 16 minutes was as good as it got for the Austrian hosts.
- Erik Balenciaga Azcue hammered in two goals in quick succession in the 23rd and 25th minutes to gift Toulouse their first lead of the game 11:10.
- The French side really set up their stall at the start of the second half opening it with goals from Borzas, Ilic from the spot and captain Kempf, giving the hosts a 16:10 lead.
- The win was never in doubt for the French side from there on out with Nemanja Ilic picking up top scorer with his 8/9.